Finding a doctor to give you a checkup, treat a minor injury or administer long-term care is easy—just look in an online city reference or visit a local clinic. However, finding a doctor who isn’t busy, who will accept payment after treatment or who will keep your injuries and illegal implants a secret is a little more difficult and more expensive.
Good medical skills and facilities are unquestionably important to shadowrunners, but the characters won’t always have a choice. Knowing the ratings of a doctor’s skills and tools is important for the gamemaster, who will be making the tests to determine how medical procedures go. The following rules offer two methods of determining those ratings, depending on whether the medical care is an emergency—the bullet-ridden character was picked off the street by DocWagon—or nonemergency, such as the character seeking a nice black clinic for some implant surgery.
In the medical profession, expert doctors, nurses and technicians are worth their weight in orichalcum. Medical-care providers fit into four categories—corporate, private, public and illegal. Each operates differently, and this can have an impact on a character’s options and choices.
Many corporations, from non-rated nationals to AAA megacorps, operate health-care centers usually only available to employees or corporate citizens. To receive medical services from these centers, the character is required to have a corporate ID and SIN, or at least good forgeries. Many will also only accept payment in corporate scrip. Company men and women are usually given access to such sites for trauma and implant care. It is also possible for shadowrunners to work out a deal with a corporate Johnson to gain access to such services.
Corporate medical providers are often the only source for certain procedures or implants. Corporate sites are also more likely to have alpha-grade or better gear, and their doctors are usually more skilled. Some even offer emergency medical services similar to DocWagon, though usually at much steeper rates and with slower service.
The primary bonus for many AA and AAA corp medical centers is their extraterritoriality. A piece of cyberware that cannot be legally installed within a Seattle public hospital might be obtainable from the Yamatetsu clinic two blocks over, as they operate under Yamatetsu laws. Many extraterritorial corporate med-centers pay lip service to local laws regarding implants to maintain good relations and a community-service façade. But the right cred can inspire them to conveniently ignore such trivialities behind their sovereign closed doors.
There are several drawbacks to using corp-sponsored medical centers. The corp will know what implants a character is packing and what procedures he has undergone—information many privacy-loving shadowrunners aren’t willing to give.
The corp controls the medical environment, so there is also the possibility that it might retain biological samples (for forensics and ritual sorcery); include some unwanted implants (“Did we mention the cortex bomb we installed?”) or use the character to test some experimental procedures or devices.
DocWagon: DocWagon and equivalent services are popular with shadowrunners because their clinics maintain extraterritorial status; a patient’s location and records are generally confidential.
DocWagon generally acknowledges extradition requests from Lone Star and other corporate security institutions.
|EMERGENCY CARE TABLE|
|CrashCart/other corp service||+1|
|EMT Response Team*|
|AAA or AA||+1|
|A or B||+0|
|C or D||–1|
|E or Z||–2|
|Character is SINless||–1|
|Patient is a prisoner/under arrest||–2|
*These refer to DocWagon-specific services. Services from other providers should be approximated.
|EMERGENCY RATING TABLE|
|Modified 2D6 Roll||Skill Rating||Gear Rating|
|0 or less||None||None|
|15 or more||10||6|
Private clinics and hospitals are owned, funded and operated by a private interest and are only available to selected clientele. This includes private-practice medical professionals, military health services, university clinics and those maintained by special interest groups. Even tribal shamans and medical personnel fall into this category.
Unlike public med-centers, private practices can select to whom they sell their services. They tend to focus on specific sectors and criteria. Characters may be able to obtain services by meeting those criteria, doing them a favor or just paying them off.
Private health care staff is a notch above public, though such personnel may be dedicated to a particular purpose that is at odds with the character’s goals.
Theoretically, anyone can walk into one of these centers and get care. Realistically, if an individual doesn’t have cred or a SIN, he’s pushed to the end of the line and may even be legally denied service despite the Hippocratic oath. Public health centers are usually overwhelmed by masses of the poor and downtrodden, who have no other access to medical care. Getting medical attention usually requires a wait of at least several hours, unless the character’s situation is dire. Certain procedures require payment up-front.
Public health care is usually government-run, though many sites are also privately owned, usually held by corporations looking for a public relations boost, or by some “charitable” entity such as the Catholic Church. Privately owned centers tend to be more professional and less disease ridden than government sites.
Public hospitals usually offer emergency medical services to the surrounding community. Unlike DocWagon or other armed medical providers, no high-threat service is available. If the ambulance or EMT encounters a combat situation, they will immediately withdraw and contact the police.
The quality of service in public hospitals is average at best. Most doctors find better-paying corporate jobs. Racism and class bias are prevalent; a human suit can expect to see a doctor faster than an ork squatter.
Public med-centers must follow local laws. Many public-service medical professionals supplement their meager incomes by undertaking illegal operations on the side. In some cases, entire hospital wings might be engaged in illegal services. It is not uncommon for public-hospital staffers to have seedy sidelines. They may be buying or selling corpses or used implants with organ leggers, engaging in illegal testing or worse.
Any illegal med-center falls under the black clinic category. These can range from street docs who remove bullets in the corner bar’s back room to clinics for hire that engage in illegal procedures. The high-end black clinics are usually sponsored by some powerful interest group, including dragons, policlubs and even corps. The majority are corp- or underworld syndicate-connected, allowing them the resources for high-tech procedures.
Black clinics specialize in illegal goods. In fact, many don’t even bother offering legal wares and procedures. They never require ID or SINs, though they do require payment in advance.
Black clinics usually have connections for obtaining used implants and replacement organs.
FINDING EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE
When a character receives medical care from a random source (passerby, emergency response ambulance or nearest clinic), roll 2D6 to determine the ratings of the attending biotechnician’s skills and tools. Make a separate check for each. Apply appropriate modifiers from the Emergency Care Table and consult the Emergency Rating Table for the result.
A modified roll that results in “none” can mean several things. Perhaps the “doctor” doesn’t have the necessary skill and must default. He might not have the proper gear. Or he may just refuse to aid the character for some reason, such as the character being SINless.
Twitch has been shot up pretty good on a run gone bad in Renton. His team left him behind, and when Lone Star arrives, they cuff him and call the nearest hospital—which happens to be a small public place called Maple Valley General Hospital. The gamemaster rolls 2D6 a few times to determine the service Twitch gets. He rolls a 9 for the hospital’s rating and an 11 for the emergency-room doctor’s Biotech Skill. The modifiers to these rolls are –1 (public hospital), –1 (Twitch has no medical contract), –1 (neighborhood is rated C) and –2 (Twitch is a Lone Star prisoner), for a total of –5. With the modifiers, the gamemaster checks the table and notes that the hospital is Rating 2 (9 – 5 = 4, which equals a 2) and the doctor’s Biotech is 5 (11 – 5 = 6, which equals a 5). Twitch could have gotten much worse.
NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE
Whenever a character spends the time to work his contacts and seek out medical care in a non-emergency situation, his success will depend on several factors: who he knows, what kind of clinic and surgery he’s looking for, the grade of any implants he desires, illegality and so on. The gamemaster should consult the following to determine how well the search proceeds.
The character should first decide what he’s looking for and then consult the Medical Search Table for modifiers to this test. For example, if the character wants an illegal black clinic to install some securitygrade alphaware, he’s facing modifiers of – 1 (illegal clinic), + 1 (implant surgery), + 2 (alphaware) and + 1 (security grade), for a total of + 3.
The character then makes an Etiquette (4) Test, plus modifiers, to see if he is able to track down what he’s looking for. One success is all that’s needed.
The base rating and search time are given on the Medical Ratings Table (p. 144). Extra successes may be used to reduce this time (divide the time by success successes) or to increase the rating of the medical gear (+1 per success, maximum 6).
To determine the skill ratings of the attending biotechnicians, roll 2D6 and apply the skill modifier listed on the Medical Ratings Table. Take the modified result and consult the Emergency Rating Table (p. 142) to determine the skill rating. Roll separately for each skill.
|MEDICAL SEARCH TABLE|
|Fixer, government official, organlegger, etc.||–1|
|Street doc, DocWagon medtech, etc.||–2|
|Type of Surgery|
|Basic cyberware||+ 0|
|Alphaware/basic and cosmetic bioware||+ 2|
|Betaware/cultured bioware||+ 4|
|Paralegal/Class A||+ 0|
|Security grade/Class B||+ 1|
|Military grade/Class C||+ 2|
|Each extra skill required||+ 1|
Medical Search Table Key
Appropriate Contact: Depending on what the character is looking for, some contacts might give him a few pointers. For example, a city official will likely know of public medical centers but will not be useful if searching for a black clinic. Medical professionals of any type are always helpful and provide a –2. Provider Sought: See p. 140 for details on different provider types.
Type of Surgery: See pp. 146-148 for descriptions of the surgery types. Nanosurgery is any surgery incorporating the nanosurgery option (p. 150).
Implant Grade: See the sections on Cyberware Grades (p. 45) and Bioware Grades (p. 76) for info on implant grades.
Legality: Legality Codes are explained on p. 273 of SR3.
Each Extra Skill Required: Medical providers are assumed to have Biotech (p. 135) and Medicine (p. 136) Skills. Certain procedures may require other skills, however, as noted in their descriptions. Any additional such skills required incur a +1 modifier.
GETTING IN THE DOOR
Once a character has found a medical provider, he must negotiate for the service he wants. Certain factors can pose difficulties, depending on the provider (see the descriptions on p. 140). The character may lack a SIN, be unable to pay upfront, might be asking them to break the law, may not have corp ID or corpscrip and so on. The provider could demand to keep records on the patient, file paperwork with higher authorities and keep tissue samples.
Shadowrunners asking for certain regulations to be “overlooked” or “special considerations” to be made must make an Etiquette Test equal to the med-center’s rating. Apply any appropriate modifiers
from the Medical Search Table (p. 143) and Social Modifiers Table (p. 94, SR3), plus any others the gamemaster feels are appropriate.
The character can attempt to bribe his way in, using nuyen to grease the wheels. Most doctors have no problem with extra compensation, and the threat of losing a medical license is lessened due to the realities of extraterritoriality. The going rate for such bribes is 10 percent of the service’s total cost. Offering this amount or more generally makes breaking the rules advantageous to the provider (apply a –2 modifier to the Etiquette Test).
If the Etiquette Test fails, the doctor refuses. Intimidation or other attempts at coercion could help, but this could also persuade the provider to turn the character over to the authorities. Of course, many doctors have been known to perform surgery with an AK-97 pointed at them.
|MEDICAL RATINGS TABLE|
|Provider||Base Rating||Skill Modifier||Search Time|
|Standard illegal||2||–2||1 day|
|Standard private/public||3||–1||2 days|
|Beta/cultured bioware-equipped||6||+2||1 month|